GuideIvailo Nikolov
DatesAny Time
Birding Days7
Ground Price£1200
Flight ex UK£200
Ivailo Nikolov
Ivailo Nikolov is co-founder of his own nature tour agency in Bulgaria. He is a zoology graduate, and has carried out numerous ornithological
studies and censuses in his native country, and now guides tours throughout the country.
Vultures, Eagles, Warblers, Shrikes… This tour is dedicated to watching raptors and a spectacular variety of passerines in the south of Bulgaria, among the broken grounds of the Rodopi Mountains, and the wetlands of the Black Sea Coast.
After arrival, we head to the Vitosha Mountains. The highlights here will be Nutcracker, Pallid Swift, Crag Martin, Ring Ouzel etc. After short tour in the alpine zone, we head to Maritsa River to seek out Masked Shrikes and Levant Sparrowhawks.
Next, we visit a true hotspot for Europe’s birds of prey - the Eastern Rodopi Mountains, where more than 20 raptor species can be seen during the breeding season. These include Black, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed, Booted and Imperial Eagles, Long-legged and Honey Buzzards and several smaller species. Additional encounters with Black Stork, Hoopoe, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian, Barred and Subalpine Warblers, Cirl, Rock and Black-headed Buntings, Rock Nuthatch, Olive-tree, Olivaceous and Eastern Bonelli’s Warblers, Lesser Grey and Woodchat Shrikes, and many more are guaranteed.
As we head towards the Black Sea Coast, we pass through the Sakar Mountains. The open areas here house huge colonies of European Suslik, thus providing perfect feeding conditions for Booted, Imperial and Lesser Spotted Eagles. Isabelline Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike and Black-headed Buntings are quite numerous.
The wetlands by the Black Sea Coast offer a contrast with the hills of the Sakar Mountains. Lagoons and lakes among the Via Pontica flyway are stop-over and nesting places for many waterbirds, such as Night, Squacco and Purple Herons, Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Slender-billed and Mediterranean Gulls, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Penduline Tit, Savis’s and Cetti’s Warblers etc.